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Province of Cuenca (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-11-02 by ivan sache
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Presentation of the Province of Cuenca

The Province of Cuenca (211,899 inhabitants in 2014; 17,141 sq. km) is located in the east of Castilla-La Mancha.

Ivan Sache, 3 August 2015

Unofficial flag of the Province of Cuenca


Unofficial flag of the Province of Cuenca - Image by Jens Pattke, 12 February 2017

The Provincial Council submitted in 1975 proposed symbols to the Royal Academy of History. The proposed flag was purple (morado), representing the Kingdom of Castile by its traditional colours. While the Academy accepted the proposed coat of arms with a minor modification, the proposed flag was rejected, since purple was never the colour of Castile.
The Academy proposed a flag using the colours of the coat of arms, horizontally divided yellow-white-red, charged in the middle with the provincial arms in the middle. The Provincial Council never followed-up, accordingly, the Province of Cuenca has no official flag.
[Antonio Rodríguez Saiz. El escudo y la bandera de la provincia de Cuenca]

This did not prevent the production and sale of the flag (photo).

Ivan Sache, 12 February 2017

Coat of arms of the Province of Cuenca

The coat of arms of the Province of Cuenca is prescribed in Royal Decree No. 2,872, adopted on 31 October 1975 and published on 10 November 1975 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 269, p. 23,457 (text).
The "rehabilitated" coat of arm, which was amended by the Royal Academy of History, is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Quarterly, 1. Quarterly, a. and d. Gules a castle or, b. and c. Or a lion rampant gules, 2. Gules a chalice or ensigned by a star argent, 3. Argent a pine vert, 4. Azure a book - the Cuenca Charter - or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The process of adoption of provincial arms was initiated on 27 January 1975 by the Provincial Council.
Nothing significant was found about an historical coat of arms in the provincial archives, which were mostly destroyed in July 1874 during the assault of the provincial building by the Carlist troops and the blaze that followed. However, the official seals and documents appear to have used a "traditional" coat of arms that was never rejected by the population.
The Diccionario de la Administración Española, published in 1876 by Marcelo Martínez Alcubilla, shows a design similar to the one eventually adopted. The Royal Academy of History suggested to swap the two lower quarters of the shield.
[Antonio Rodríguez Saiz. El escudo y la bandera de la provincia de Cuenca]

In the second quarter, gules represents blood and the victorious reconquest of Cuenca. The chalice is the symbol of St. Matthew, recalling the date of the reconquest by Alfonso VIII, 21 September 1177. The star recalls the day the siege was initiated, 6 January 1177, the Day of the Magi;
In the third quarter, argent is a symbol of integrity and firmness; the pine is a symbol of commitment, youth and liberty;
In the fourth quarter, azure is a symbol of justice and loyalty. Or is a symbol of magnanimity and power, recalling that the Charter was of royal origin.
[Manual del Estado Español]

The Code of Cuenca ("Forum Conche" / "Foro de Cuenca": original text), elaborated in 1189/1190 upon King Alfonso VIII's request, is a collection of 950 civil, commercial, penal and procedural laws grouped in 48 chapters. The code of Cuenca is considered as the most important Spanish medieval code, which was used as a template for a "family" of codes granted to towns newly established on the border with the Muslim states (for instance, Alarcón, Iniesta, Jorquera, Requena, Alcaraz, Ciudad Real, Baeza, Úbeda, Plasencia, Béjar, and Zorita de los Canes).

Pascal Vagnat & Ivan Sache, 12 February 2017